Making Something for Austin: A Conversation with Jake Lloyd

by Aaron “Fresh” Knight

Last Friday I had the pleasure of being invited to the private listening of soul sensation Jake Lloyd’s new album, MoonLit Mornings. Jake is an artist you immediately recognizes has a chip on his shoulder once you talk to him. The chip doesn’t come from envy or jealousy of his peers, but the fact that he knows his music is just as good if not better than any artist out here in the Austin music scene, and the constant overlook can be understandably discouraging. With that being said Jake has steadily pushed through and has been making sure you know his name, with his music appearing in an episode of NPR’s Here and Now: DJ Sessions, as well as in NPR’s Slingshot Scenes: 9 Austin Artist You Should Know. Lloyd also performed at KUTX’s #SXSBREAKS presented by The Breaks and Jam In The Van during this year’s SXSW, all off the strength of his 2017 debut, Jake Lloyd LP.

Lloyd is set to release his sophomore album, MoonLit Mornings this Friday, July 12th. While at his album listening party, I got a chance to steal him away to ask a few questions about the album, his inspirations, his career, and more.

Aaaron “Fresh” Knight: My first question I have to ask is what was the inspiration for MoonLit Mornings, the title and album itself?

Jake Lloyd: So the inspiration for MoonLit Mornings was two parts, the first was a nod at the duality of the way I approach making music, the way I sing. Then it’s a nod at the original cover of the werewolf, so we just wanted to keep that going.

Ovrld: My next question, and I tweeted this, I have to know the background of your obsession and fascination with women who work in the strip club environment. I know “Str8nge Fruit” was obviously about a stripper if you listen to the song closely enough. Your new song, “Novella” is about a bottle girl, waitress, or bartender. What’s the thought process behind making a song like that?

JL: I really don’t know, Fresh. Honestly, man, I’m just a fan of telling stories. That’s another big factor in the way I approached shit. I think it’s a cool setting to tell a story. That’s a cool backdrop. When Frank Ocean did that “Pyramids” remix at the end of the song, man…I liked that shit…It was so vivid and clear. So honestly man, that’s probably subconsciously part of it. But inspiring backdrop I think is right.

Ovrld: So for this album and its release, what are you looking to gain from it?

JL: Honestly, man, I want to obviously push my career forward. I want new listeners, new business endeavors, also I really really genuinely want to highlight the hip hop scene, the urban scene, the R&B singers. I just want to show people that live in Austin, or maybe those not from Austin that have their eyes on the Austin scene, that there is more here than just the indie pop and rock. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the indie pop rock artists from Austin, but at the same time and I feel like…I saw something the other day and it was something about Mélat when she got a write up talking about the bubbling Austin R&B scene. That’s what I want. I want more publications like that with that title. So that’s really what. There are selfish reasons for me too. I want to fucking quit my job, but I do want to push the scene forward man. That’s a legitimate concern of mine.

Ovrld: My next question, since you mentioned the pushing forward of the urban music scene, would you say with all of that, do you feel like there is an unfair advantage for the pop and rock and maybe the blues scene here in Austin as opposed to the urban, hip hop and R&B scene?

JL: Simple answer is yes. I can’t necessarily say whose fault that is but yes, there is an advantage and it’s just part of Austin’s infrastructure. Austin’s music scene wasn’t built on R&B or hip hop. It was built on blues, that’s why people love going to see Gary Clark Jr. It’s not necessarily any one party’s fault. But yes, that is absolutely a fact.

Ovrld: With you feeling like there is more or less and unfair advantage, how do you feel your part in the scene plays to help push things forward?

JL: That’s a good question, man. I wasn’t ready for that one. I guess it shows the usual consumer of music in Austin can look at somebody urban or who looks urban or whatever and say “hey, he’s doing these extremely pop songs,” like a “Daily Interlude.” That’s a pop song. I don’t know if I can make anything poppier than that. I just want to show these people, hey, you can look like this and still make this and still be rap, and still be hip hop, and that’s what I would like to think I played a part in. I have no idea if it’s true or not, but that’s what I like to think.

Ovrld: So speaking of “Daily Interlude,” as you said it’s obviously a pop record, and a lot of people feel that radio is dead and making “radio records” is over and done with in today’s time, with the streaming era being upon us. Yet you made this record that still appeals to the masses. Is that your thought process in making a record like “Daily Interlude?”

JL: That specific song, yes. Now when I go into the studio just to record not usually, I mean it’s always in the back of your mind, as an artist you want all your shit to blow everybody away, and touch everyone. That isn’t necessarily how I go into every song, but that specific song, yes I absolutely went in. I wanted to make something for Austin. I knew if Austin dug it, everybody else would. I mean, I can be honest, man, it hurt me that it didn’t get as much buzz. I’m not being selfish because I did the song. If I heard that song I would think it was a good song. There’s no way for me to say it and it not sound selfish. I really went into that one trying to write something for Austin, and for everybody to really dig. It might not be where it needs to be now, but it’s a good song. I feel like it’s got a lot of potential.

Read the review of MoonLit Mornings here and be sure to pick the album up when it releases tomorrow, July 12th!